Arizona State's Ewen sets new college record in the hammer

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) Maggie Ewen felt as if maybe the collegiate women's hammer record had been toying with her most of the season.

After all, the Arizona State junior had been within 10 feet of the coveted mark five times this spring.

The more she chased it, the farther away it felt.

But the record finally went down Thursday, as Ewen threw 240 feet, 7 inches to win the hammer title at the NCAA Division I outdoor track and field championships at Hayward Field.

''It's been something we've been trying to hit all year, but in the back of our mind kind of thing. It just meant a lot to do it here, too,'' Ewen said of the previous record of 239-3, set by Georgia's Jenny Dahlgren in 2007.

''We tried to not think about it as much as possible and go into every competition like, just do what you're going to do. If it's meant to happen it will happen.''

Ewen's winning throw came in the third of six rounds. That improved her lead and she took it for good, as no one else came within 15 feet.

''I think it was just all the little queues that we've been working on all year,'' Ewen said of her best toss. ''You think about one and another one kind of goes away. I think everything just kind of came together on that one throw.''

Ewen later finished sixth in the shot put at 57-1, more than two feet off her personal best. But the smile had not left her face some five hours after capturing the record she wanted.

Kent State senior Danniel Thomas finally got the marks she was looking for as well when she won the shot put with a personal-best 62-10, moving her to third on the NCAA all-time list.

Her previous best (60-8) came on a wet day in late April. The event was delayed and she didn't want to throw. But she proved to herself that she needed to push through.

''Ever since then in practice, I've put a pressure on myself,'' Thomas said. ''After taking that pressure off, I was able to relax, work on the technique me and my coach have been working on and it paid off.''

She had already won the competition Thursday with a 62-2 1/4 in the third of six rounds when she stepped in the shot put ring for her final toss. Her winning throw moved her from fifth to third on the all-time list.

Ole Miss junior Raven Saunders, the NCAA outdoor and indoor record-holder in the event, was fourth at 57-3 3/4.

Thomas, from Jamaica, left her family and coaches to go to school.

She said she believes her success and that of others from her country who have come to the United States to compete in track and field is a message to young Jamaicans that it can be done.

''It definitely shows that this generation is a little more determined, they'll work a little bit harder,'' Thomas said. ''We've set a good example . it doesn't matter what school you go to. If you have that drive, if this is what you want, it doesn't matter where you go it's going to happen.''

Six women's finals were held Thursday, with the remainder of the meet concluding Saturday.

Thursday's other winners included San Francisco's Charlotte Taylor (10,000), Kentucky's Olivia Gruver (pole vault), Virginia Tech's Irena Sediva (javelin), and Georgia's Kate Hall (long jump).

Georgia's 1-2 finish in the long jump - Keturah Orji second - pushes the Bulldogs squarely into the team championship picture. Oregon was the pre-meet favorite with Arkansas, LSU and USC also expected to be in contention.

In the only men's event Thursday, Texas A&M's Lindon Victor repeated as the decathlon champion with 8,390 points. Victor, a senior, set an all-time collegiate record earlier this season with 8,539.

The men's meet concludes Friday.

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